Chapel Street Methodist Church
Penzance

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Minister's Letter, 21 January

From the Revd Alastair Bolt

Dear Friends,

My Bible readings about the early phase of Jesus’ ministry took me this week to the story of the wedding at Cana, where Jesus saved the day by turning gallons of water into gallons of wine. Although it was both a miracle and a sign of the coming Kingdom of God, I was also interested to reflect that at this hugely busy and focused time of launching His ministry, Jesus made time to go to ‘do something else’, go to a wedding reception. In those days, wedding receptions took forever! Here was something other than preaching and teaching, something involving eating, drinking, chatting and not going anywhere.

The inauguration of President Biden served briefly to knock Covid off of the headlines. Regardless of the woes of American politics, it was good to hear someone in the media talking about something else. I sometimes wonder in my conversations, how long it will before people get around to Covid, and I think, what about something different to talk about? As the Covid situation goes on and on, we can either get increasingly locked into it, or we can find other things to think and talk about. If we get totally absorbed in it we risk increased fear, anxiety, and inactivity, none of which is good for us, and none of which will help us deal with Covid. If we set aside all the aspects of Covid about which we can do nothing, and branch out into more interesting avenues of life, particularly in our conversation, we will have more space for others, for hope, for loud music, for flowers, for cloud watching, for distanced hugs, for love, indeed for Jesus.

‘They’ are making improvements on the coast path from Penzance to Marazion. That means that part of the path is closed; perfect timing when it is one of the only places we can walk locally. Anyway, I came upon this big red sign which warned: “BEWARE HEAVY PLANT CROSSING”. Just beyond it, by the side of the path, there is a sizeable palm tree, which I then viewed with immediate suspicion, and circled around!

There seems a great deal of relief that Donald Trump has finally gone off to play golf as a private citizen. The new president wants to ‘bring America together’, and the newspapers announced that the nightmare is over. Yet a few weeks ago, almost half of Americans voted to re-elect Trump. I wonder how they feel? Is it a good start towards unity by saying that the nightmare is over? One person’s gain is too easily another person’s loss. Politicians strive for what they call win-win situations, where everybody wins. This rarely happens. Normally someone wins and convinces the losers that they didn’t lose really. In the Bible, we are assured that God has made us His friends through the death of Jesus. So, we are mightily blessed, God delights in us, and He delights in Jesus and glorifies Him. Everyone wins. That’s why the Gospel of Jesus is literally good news, better than a new US president, better than an EU trade deal that would work, better even than an effective vaccine! (almost mentioned the virus again).

With warm regards to you all,

Alastair's signature

Published at 20:31 on 21 January 2021

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